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Women's Health Issues: What They Are, and the Signs and Symptoms You Need To Know

Women’s bodies differ from men’s in a number of ways, including hormones, muscle mass, bone density and reproductive system. Because of these key differences, women are more likely to suffer from a number of health problems. We’ve listed some of the most common issues women face, along with tips on how to handle them. Remember, while many health problems can be managed with over-the-counter remedies, nothing replaces the expertise and care of your trusted doctor. ... Read More

Women's Health Issues: What They Are, and the Signs and Symptoms You Need To Know

Women’s bodies differ from men’s in a number of ways, including hormones, muscle mass, bone density and reproductive system. Because of these key differences, women are more likely to suffer from a number of health problems. We’ve listed some of the most common issues women face, along with tips on how to handle them. Remember, while many health problems can be managed with over-the-counter remedies, nothing replaces the expertise and care of your trusted doctor.

Yeast Infections – 75 percent of women experience this vaginal infection caused by bacteria candida albicans at some point. How does it occur? The body’s normal bacteria balance is thrown off, and then, yeast begin to multiply. Women who suffer from a yeast infection will notice a burning or itching sensation, pain or discharge. Over-the-counter medications may assist in treatment.

Urinary Tract Infections – Bacteria infect one or more parts of the urinary system, which is comprised of the kidneys, ureters, urethra and bladder. You’ll notice it through a burning sensation during urination, lower abdominal pain and cloudy or strong-smelling urine. While not serious, the condition requires professional medical treatment to prevent a bladder or kidney infection, which is further characterized by lower back pain, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

Menstrual Cramps – More than half of women experience menstrual cramps at least once, and one in seven cases tend to be severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Cramps are triggered when the body releases prostaglandins, which constrict the uterus’ muscles and blood supply. Some physical activity can lessen the pain, and OTC pain relief medications are frequently used to minimize symptoms.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A sense of overwhelming, debilitating tiredness that doesn’t improve with rest affects is four times more likely to affect women than men. Muscle pain, insomnia and memory loss may accompany this symptom.

Autoimmune Diseases – Women make up 75 percent of all autoimmune diseases, a group of health problems that includes lupus, multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes and thyroid disease. These diseases can have similar symptoms, such as blurred vision, weakness, a change in appetite and fatigue, so a diagnosis isn’t always clear. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you suspect that you suffer from an autoimmune disease.

Depression – Depression affects 12 million women – double the amount of men. Researchers have found that, in women, hormones may trigger the condition, especially around pregnancy and menopause. While some activities such as exercise or meditation may help temporarily boost mood, women should seek a physician’s opinion if depression persists.

Osteoporosis – Out of the 44 million Americans living with osteoporosis, women compose 68 percent. While osteoporosis is a preventable condition, certain factors make women more prone to development:

  • Older age
  • A thin or small frame
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Estrogen loss
  • Anorexia
  • A diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Women who want to decrease their risk should get the recommended daily amount of calcium and incorporate weight-bearing physical activity into their routine.

Heart Disease – 29 percent of women’s deaths are attributed to heart disease – a condition that affects both sexes in high numbers. With women, however, symptoms vary. Rather than chest pain, the disease may surface as jaw pain, shoulder aches, nausea and vomiting, and shortness of breath. Risks increase with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, and diabetes.

Breast Cancer – Lung cancer may claim more lives, but breast cancer is the second-most common in women. Certain factors, such as age, genetics, level of alcohol consumption and weight can increase a woman’s chances. The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk should begin getting annual mammograms at age 45.

If you or someone you know suffers from any of the symptoms listed above, seek the counsel and treatment of a medical professional.